Thursday, 17 March 2011

Lemon Welsh Cakes (gluten free and/or vegan)

Some of my best ideas come to me when I first wake up.  Admittedly the idea of hand-making all my Christmas decorations one year was not my finest, but other ones have been pretty cool.

It’s why I have Sempervivums growing out of a (disused) toilet in the garden, how my landing got painted bright yellow (hmm) and how my daughter ended up with a new wardrobe rather unexpectedly last Sunday.  I woke up at 6am, decided she needed one and by 1pm it was home and installed.  Ta-daa!  (manic? me?)

Often, the ideas are about baking.  I wake up and see enormous cherry sponges just gagging to be made, or I fantasise about making Pigs in Blankets without gluten, eggs, milk, nuts, meat, mustard, gelatine, etc, etc.  Yeah, some of those ideas are a bit off the wall.

Last Sunday, along with the wardrobe brainwave came the Welsh Cakes brainwave. 

I recently got Mr Amazon to send my cool friend Jo (who designed my Pig logo) the Great British Book of Baking and it rankled slightly.  If cool friend Jo can have one, why can’t I?  Mr Amazon was very happy to oblige.  Although the book is fab, it is full of recipes I can’t bake for my allergic family. 

Sigh, life’s a bitch, etc.  But the Welsh Cake recipe got me thinking...

So, between waking up and buying the wardrobe I managed to make 2 batches of egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free Welsh Cakes for my kiddies and I was definitely the best Mum in Paris for a whole ten minutes.
It was one of my finer morning ideas and it gives me great pleasure to bequeath it to you dear, loyal blog readers.  

Lemon Welsh Cakes (makes about 12, hopefully more)
These are a doddle to make (that means easy to make).  The kids kept scampering back into the kitchen for more while I basked in glory.  Trust me, it doesn't happen often.  The acidity of the lemon is crucial; its counterbalances the sweetness of the sugar, margarine AND jam I loaded onto mine.  You are supposed to only have them with sugar sprinkled on top, but jam, maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, chocolate spread, it's all good in my book.  You will need a crepe pan for this recipe and a 7cm round cutter.

All versions:

125g dairy free margarine (or butter)
80g sugar (+ extra for sprinkling)
35g currants/sultanas
1 lemon
Approximately 6 tbsps Rice milk / other milk 

Egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
1 pinch of xanthan gum
1 pinch of salt
Egg replacing mix:
1 tbsps ground chia seeds (grind the chia seeds in a blender)
1 tbsp ground linseeds / flaxseeds
1 tbsp apple sauce/puree
3tbsps rice milk

Gluten free with eggs
Use the Doves Farm GF flour, xanthan gum and salt as above, but replace the egg replacing mix with 1 egg yolk

Egg-free with wheat flour
Use the egg replacing mix as shown above and use 225g of self-raising flour (you could probably get away with plain flour in an emergency)

  • If using the egg replacing mix, place the ground chia seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds, apple sauce and 3 tbsps rice milk into a small bowl.  Stir to combine and set aside
  • Place the flour, salt and xanthan gum (if using) into a mixing bowl.  Add the zest of the lemon and the dairy free margarine/butter cut up into cubes.  Rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs
  • Add the sugar and sultanas and stir
  • Make a well in the centre and add either the egg replacing mix or the egg yolk and mix to combine.  Squeeze some juice from your lemon into the mix and stir/work it until you have a soft, fairly wet dough
  • Dollop your mixture onto a GF floured work surface then, because it is too wet to roll, sprinkle some flour over the top.  Turn the dough over and over on the floured surface until more flour is incorporated - add more sprinkles of flour as necessary - and you have a soft dough that you can roll out.  It sounds a faff doing it this way, but I think it makes for a softer cake at the end of it
  • Gently roll out the dough to 1cm thick, you can almost pat it out to this thickness, the dough feels lovely doesn't it?
  • Using the cutter, stamp out rounds and set them to one side until all the dough is used up
  • Lightly grease your crepe pan by putting a teaspoon of oil onto the surface and then wiping it round with some kitchen paper, the welsh cakes shouldn't be 'fried' in the oil, just browned by the heat
  • Heat the pan over a low to medium heat and add your welsh cakes - in batches of 3 or 4 depending on pan size
  • Cook them on one side until golden brown, then carefully turn them over to cook/brown the other side, lower the heat if they are browning too quickly and not cooked in the middle
  • Place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with sugar.  Repeat until they are all cooked
  • Now smear them with margarine and jam, hunker down in the kitchen and eat the whole lot.  Or you could share them with your kids/significant other/dog/cat or budgie
  • Yum  
© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Elsie Button said...

I used to have a boyfriend who could say the name of that welsh town, AND in a welsh accent - it used to get me every time. (and i don't think he was even welsh)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hi ElsieB, that's quite a skill. I hope he was a looker as well ;-)
Pig x

Iota said...

I'm an ideas-in-the-morning kind of a person too. I've always assumed it's because the brain chugs away at things even when you're asleep. Like putting a saucepan on the back burner, and turning it down very low. The flavours all mingle together, and if you leave well alone, a wonderful concoction emerges. Or something.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Iota, I love the idea that I have a superior brain that just keeps on working all night long. You didn't say 'superior' but I'm sure that's what you meant! Merci dahling...
Pig x

There are Cuckoos in my Nest said...

Hi, just leaving you a comment to say that i have given your blog a LIEBSTER AWARD. Your blog always makes me hungry and inspires me so thought i would recommend it to others. Regards A.

Fat Mummy said...

Welsh cakes always make me think of morris dancers. i guess it's the whole welsh thing going on...

They are always a winner here too

Christopher Murphy said...

Hi it's tuck-box here, thanks for reading my article- it's amazing to know it gets around...

I just saw this post of yours and funnily enough I've just made welsh cakes too.. I was in wales for my birthday with friends and one of them got me the 'Perton And Byrne -British Baking' book (get it it's amazing...) We saw the recipe for welsh cakes and were in this tiny cottage and just thought how cute would that be??

I'm gonna put a post up about it soon, have a look if you get a chance..

Keep up the cookin, looks tasty!

Chris x